Kaduna religious bill: Tread softly, Assemblies of God Cleric tells El-Rufai
By Godwin Ekosin and Eddy Akon, Kaduna
Following the controversies that trail the bill to substitute the Kaduna State religious Preaching Law, 1984 as submitted to the State’s Assembly by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Senior Pastor, Assemblies of God Church Nigeria, Kaduna District, Reverend Solomon Kasuwa, has called on the governor to tread with caution and apply wisdom in implementing policies that may affect masses in the state.
He said Kaduna, of all Northern States, is religion sensitive and as such, any bill or law that may plunge the state into religion crisis should be taken into consideration, noting that there are already laws enshrined in the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria on limits to right of religion.
The Cleric, who made the call at the 10th Anniversary of the church annual International Convention in Kaduna yesterday, added that the call became necessary at the wake of controversial bill for a law to substitute the Kaduna State Religious Preaching Law, 1984.
According to him, “the bill has something to do with faith and Kaduna is noted to be a religious fragile state, and if the bill is not properly handled, it may generate lots of problems with the two major religions in the state; Christianity and Islam.
“A week ago I said something about the proposed bill for a law to substitute the Kaduna State Religious Preaching Law 1984, that has passed two readings in the state House of Assembly.
“We have freedom of worship enshrine in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and if this bill is not properly handled, it may generate lots of problems especially with the two major religions.
“I know the Muslims are reacting and so also the Christians. This is because the bill has something to do with faith, and knowing that Kaduna state is religious fragile. That’s why I’m calling on the Kaduna State Government to implement policies with wisdom.
“The people of the state are against the bill. Anything that has to do with faith must be handle with utmost care and wisdom.
“The bill is coming with lots of restrictions that I know will not end well not only to the Christians but Muslims also.
“This has to be done cautiously, as it has already passed second reading. I appealed to the government to apply wisdom.
“Even members of the House of Assembly need wisdom to handle the matter at hand so that the relative leave being enjoyed in the state will be sustained.
“The government should be very careful about this issue its about to embark upon, so that people will continue to live in peace and enjoy their faith.
“I know if there’s any crisis today, its not going to be limited to Kaduna State alone but will affect other states. That’s why we are crying that this bill should be properly looked into.
“The military regimes came up with this bill since 1984, but has not worked up till now. I don’t think the bill should come up under this democratic dispensation where there is freedom of worship.
“We’ve had some democratic governments; Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former Vice President Arch. Namadi Sambo, late Patrick Yakowa and Ramalan Yero, they never toiled with issue of religion,” he noted.
Posted from GoBroadsheet